!SCIENCE! - A thread for the educated and those who want to be

So in a few recent posts in the drawing board had several hard science topics have come up and a few low science but engineeringly challenging ideas and opinions on ideas. While not everything has a future in the cataclysm, it warms my cockles to see more people going ‘what if…’ with real science and engineering. I’d like this thread to be a place to discuss those topics and maybe the science or engineering behind it. Who knows, maybe you’ll you’ll learn something new like plasma guns actually exist! (Just not how you think they do.) Post Away! Ask questions, share ideas, chime in on the fields you feel you’re qualified for! (Don’t ask me car questions. Rocket engines sure. Nuclear reactors fine. Car engines, off limits.)

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Shit, I was gonna ask if the Ethanol Burner and Internal Furnace (when burning Gasoline and Diesel) was feasible given its size.

Alrighty then, here’s one: Superalloy is supposed to be titanium blended with memory plastic; does that justify it being physically weaker than any other the other platings in the game? Superalloy Plating has 900 HP, while Steel Plating has 1000, for example.

It is? (On the composition not the strength) also isn’t titanium technically weaker than steel the main advantage it having is greater strength to mass ratio.

Alright here’s something I’ve wanted to know: how does nuclear power in the Cata world work? Most of the plutonium powered items I can find some sort of explanation for them, but the RM13 armor and advanced UPS I just don’t get.

Well the plutonium power cells seem to act more like advanced batteries rather than nuclear fuel cells so I don’t know.

Better question for a different thread unless you’re looking for a hypothetical answer. You’re more likely to find that answer looking at the lore and history of nuclear power in Fallout, but fission can take place at the atomic (no pun intended) level, so a fuel cell of some sort is in thoery possible, but in current technology highly unstable.

Composit steel plating used for military armor has a tensile strength of aroung 2000mPa and a hardness of 300 on the rockwell scale. Titaium alone has a tensile strength of 580 mPa and a hardness of 215. A specially doped alloy of thin titanium could in theory keep its tensile strength at the cost of hardness by increasing its flexability. I’d have to do some research but I think some parts of the space shuttle were made that way.

The hardness essentially means “unless you are harder than i am, go fuck yourself”, however a sufficent sized projectile with enough kinetic energy will laugh at it (like .50 bmg or titanium sabot slugs fired from a rail gun). Tensile strength is its ability to resist flex before breaking under stress, tho plastic deformation usually occurs long before breaking.

Edit; tl;dr super alloy is way lighter at the cost of 100 hp.

Eh, works for me. Just wish the stuff had more applications.

You can make your own mods.

Aside from vehicle platting or armor (the two things it’s actually used for in game) what would you use it for? A toaster? Most of those special alloys in the real world have highly specialized purposes usually in the areospace industry where you need something ultralight but with characteristics of steel or thermal properties of aluminum or copper. Or in the electronics industry if the alloy has unusual applications as a conductor or resistor.

Superalloy weapons or weapon furniture. If you can make it into cbms why not also use it to make other things? Aside from those I have no idea since armor,cbms or a few devices are what the alloy itself seems to be used for so my guess is it would be a light and strong enough weapon material.

Piece together some armor plates to have light armor that can provide ample protection. Maybe replace the steel in a Heavy Survivor Suit with Superalloy, for example.

Essentially a better protective use of the plates than just the mbr vest.

A number of items in game are already made out of superalloy, Most of the Rivtech guns, light power armour, minireactors. It would be nice if there were a few more practical uses for the superalloy plating though. Perhaps we could take a chunk and forge it into a particularly light, if weak, sword? I also like the idea of making armor. Perhaps a kind of scaled underarmor or something light and thin for the close to skin layer?

I want to know how those Power Storage CBMs work, and why they need Plutonium for it. Is the plutonium just to keep the internal mechanisms powered, or would it actually play a role in storing the energy?

Best I can figure since we’re veering off topic into the pseudo science of the game, base on the other components of how it’s built, the bionic has figured out a way of building a miniature breeder reactor that takes electrical input from something to re-feed the plutonium cell with power to breed more pu-233.

Is there any feasible way way to engineer, or reason to produce, room temperature solid metallic Hydrogen as seen in the game’s Hydrogen Cells? Even given super science future tech?

Quick consultation of Hydrogen’s phase chart indicates that that should require about 30gPa, which seems a little on the impossible side for something small enough to load into a weapon.

Even if you could, how would you ever use anything pressurized to 30gPa without killing everyone nearby?

Even liquid room temp Hydrogen metal seems impossible at that scale, pressurized to a ‘mere’ 2gPa.

Metallic Hydrogen is the holy grail of high-pressure physics. The current ways of attempting to produce it in lab conditions is to suspend liquid hydrogen in a vacuum and use rubies to condense it down with high pressure presses (I’ve personally seen presses that output more than enough pressure to do it). The resulting metallic chunk would be 10x more dense than liquid hydrogen and stable at ambient air temperatures. Solid hydrogen is sought after as a fuel source for hydrogen reactors and solid rocket boosters since per-weight, you’d get significantly more fuel, thrust, and specific impulse.

Currently, there are presses in the world that can put out a whopping 1.103161167e+12 pascals of force.The issue is suspending the liquid in something that can handle the needed pressure without breaking. This is why the two research teams trying it have been using rubies.

Despite a claim than one of the teams had successfully made a handful of atoms of metallic hydrogen, their claim as since been dismissed by the scientific community because of A: losing the sample, and B: unable to repeat the process with outside lab observers.

In the realm of super science earth, it’s very probable that they’ve solved the issue and have learned how to make solid hydrogen fuel cells.

Where are you getting 100x more dense and stable at STP from?

It was in the journal published on jstor about it. Also that was a typo, it should be 10x.

Edit: Take that number with a grain of salt, the journal didn’t pass peer review.

Edit2: Actually it’s 10x more energy dense by volume compare to liquid hydrogen, not actual density of the metallic structure.